Money rolls in already for Otley and Yeadon councillor's marathon challenge

Ryk and Bev Downes with their grandson Cory and his mum Sherri

Ryk and Bev Downes with their grandson Cory and his mum Sherri

First published in Local news

A couple who are taking on a series of tough challenges to raise money to help people with an incurable condition are already more than a quarter of the way to their target.

Otley and Yeadon councillor Ryk Downes and his wife Bev are aiming to raise at least £2,000 for the Lily Foundation.

The charity helps those affected by mitochondrial disease, a rare and incurable condition with which the pair’s baby grandson Cory has been diagnosed.

Cory, 14 months, lives with his mum, Sherri, and five-year-old brother Austin in Otley.

Ryk and Bev will be attempting a mixture of half, full and ultra marathons, along with a mountain hike.

Their first challenge will be the Leeds Half Marathon on May 11.

They are asking people to support them at uk.virgin moneygiving.com/team/Downes2014.

So far £590 has been pledged.

The couple said: “The Lily Foundation has been set up to offer support to families affected by this horrible disease and also help fund research, so that one day a cure might be found.”

The second challenge will be for Ryk to take part in the 69-mile Ultra Marathon from Carlisle to Newcastle.

In the third he will climb Mount Kilimanjaro on his 50th birthday, September 26.

For the final challenge the couple will run in the Yorkshire Marathon on October 12.

Otley fundraiser Mel Metcalfe is also supporting the family’s fundraising by organising a fashion show and sponsored skydive – with more details available on the Taking To The Skies For Cory Downes Facebook page.

Mitochondrial disease is a group of disorders caused by failing mitochondria, the parts of body cells that generate energy.

Symptoms include poor growth, loss of muscle, visual, hearing and neurological problems, learning disabilities and heart disease.

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